New convection oven failing for bread, help!
For the past few years I've been using a very old oven that wasn't very good, but I'd learned how to manage it for my bread.
Recently I've gotten a new oven, and it works well for everything, but bread. I'm making crusty lean sourdough loaves with (preferably) nice ears. In this new oven, it seems that either my bread is not expanding fast enough to open up properly and form the ear before the crust dries out too much, or maybe the other way around. So I'm getting offensive undersprung bricks with bad crust.
I've been using a fairly rudimentary steaming method, a hot pan under my baking stone with water poured in, and a spray bottle. Worked in the old oven, don't know if something needs to be done differently here. I've attempted this at temperatures ranging from 425 to 500, it never works. It almost seems as if the oven isn't getting hot enough to generate enough steam and cause the loaf to expand quick enough, but if even the oven's maximum temperature isn't enough, I don't know what I can do anymore.
I wonder if the air circulation of the convection isn't drying out my crust faster than before? I'm going to give it another try with that off and see if it makes a difference. But I really don't know what's going on. I'm pretty grumpy, I can't deny, having to stop making the loaves I want is an obnoxious prospect.